UK Minimum Wage for International Students

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Sristy Sharma
Updated on Apr 19, 2023 02:03 PM IST

The national minimum wage UK is the same for international students as that of the country’s residents. Also, the minimum wage in UK per hour for international students is the same for both part-time employees and full-time employees. Refer to the article below to know the minimum salary UK for Indian students.

UK Minimum Wage for International Students

The minimum wage UK is the lowest hourly wage that you can legally earn, based on your age. A salary that falls below the minimum wage in UK per hour for your age bracket is illegal. If you are over 23 years old and working, you are entitled to the national minimum wage UK, regardless of whether you are an international or a domestic student. The minimum salary in UK per month is GBP 1,950 for all employees including international students.

There is a minimum wage set by the British government that must be paid to all employees in the country; no one may be paid less. Every year, in either April or October, the national minimum wage UK is modified. Regardless of the business sector or size, it is the same for all employers. The minimum wage UK is far higher per hour than in Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Ireland, Luxembourg, and France, although it still falls short of other countries in terms of overall wages. 

The minimum wage in the UK is an important factor and policy that you must know about if you plan to earn any income as a worker or employee in the country. This includes your stint as a part-time worker while being an international student in the UK. 

The knowledge of the minimum wage in the UK is important to protect your working and earning rights in the country as an international student, and even as an employee when you proceed to work under a post-study work visa after completing your studies. In this article, we will explore what is the UK salary per month, eligibility for the national minimum wage UK, job opportunities in UK for Indian students, and more.

What is the Minimum Wage in UK Per Hour?

UK minimum wage per hour refers to a fixed lower limit of hourly wage which can be earned by any employee or worker in the country. The limit is fixed by the UK government, and no wage in the country can go lower than this amount, meaning no employer can hire workers or employees to work at a lower wage than the minimum wage in the UK.

UK minimum wage per hour is revised and updated every financial year. It is fixed differently according to the age group and characteristics of the work.

Here are the UK minimum wage per hour rates for the current and previous financial years:

UK Wage Band

UK National Minimum Wage - April 2022 Onwards

(in GBP)

National Living Wage

9.50

Age 21-22

9.18

Age 18-20

6.56

Below 18

4.63

Apprentice

4.30

Can I Work and Study in the UK as an International Student?

If you are an international student, you may be wondering whether you may work while studying. International students may work in the UK with a Tier 4 student visa. However, you should check to see whether you can because there are some exceptions. Students on short-term study visas are not permitted to work. To work part-time while studying, you must have a National Insurance number. This ensures that all tax and national insurance contributions made while working are appropriately recorded. Keep in mind that you will need a National Insurance number for any form of paid work in the UK, not only part-time work. You will also require one if you have secured an internship or placement.

Planning to Work in UK After Graduation?

Eligibility for National Minimum Wage UK

The eligibility of any individual in the UK for minimum wage is decided on the basis of their age and job profile.

In the UK, school leaving age is an important determinant of your eligibility to get the National minimum wage UK. It differs for different provinces, such as England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. However, in each case, the school leaving age can be generally understood as:

  • Age between 16-18 years,

  • Allowing the student a right to get employed in a part-time or apprentice job profile,

  • Allows the student to work 20 hours or more in a week.

No student under 18 years of age is allowed to get involved in full-time employment. They must also be enrolled either in college, apprenticeship, or traineeship.

If you are an apprentice then you can earn the National minimum wage UK if you are:

  • At least 19 years of age,

  • Have been working as an apprentice for at least a year.

Overall, in the UK, you are eligible for UK National Minimum Wage if:

  • you are a worker,

  • over the school leaving age.

Additionally, you are eligible for UK National Living Wage if:

  • You are eligible for National Minimum Wage,

  • You are at 23 years or over in age.

People who can be classified as workers include those who:

  • Have a written or unwritten contract or other arrangements to do work or services in return for a reward,

  • The reward is either money or a benefit in kind, such as the promise of a contract or future work,

  • Have limited right to send other people to work in their place,

  • The employer has work for them to do until the contract or arrangement lasts,

  • Is not doing work as a part of their own limited liability company, and the employer is either a customer or client.

Casual workers, such as freelancers, zero hours, as required, workers are also entitled to get the National minimum wage UK or National Living Wage, according to their individual circumstances.

Employment information discussed in the following video is helpful for every international student planning to study and work in the UK for a part-time job opportunity during their studies and later in a full-time job role.

What to do If You Are Not Getting Paid the Minimum Wage UK?

The majority of businesses follow the minimum wage UK rules and labour laws set by the government. Yet, certain businesses make an effort to pay less to their employees. Such businesses do so risk fines from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC), the UK government's employment and tax department. Furthermore, you may file a lawsuit against the company that you work for if this is the case with you. The highest possible fine for non-payment for each employee is GBP 20,000, and if businesses neglect to pay it, they risk a 15-year-long directorship ban.

Check your employment contract and contact your employer first if you notice you are getting paid less than the legal minimum salary UK. If this fails to work, you should ask your employer for written payment records. Employees have the option to anonymously file a complaint with HMRC on their behalf or on behalf of another person. Through their private helpline, the Advisory, Conciliation, and Arbitration Service (ACAS) can also offer guidance and assistance. Also, employees who discover they are not being paid correctly can also get free advice from UK's Citizens Advice.

Minimum Wage in UK for International Students

International students are entitled to the UK minimum wage per hour if they fulfil the definition of workers while being in employment. Hence, as an international student, you are entitled to a National Minimum wage UK if you are:

  • Over school leaving age (generally 16),

  • Are employed as a worker in a part-time, full-time, or apprenticeship, and

  • Work for at least 20 hours or more per week.

Similarly, you are entitled to National Living Wage UK if you are:

  • Entitled to National minimum wage UK, and

  • 23 years or above in age.

As an apprentice, you are entitled to get UK minimum wage per hour if you are:

  • 19 years or above, and

  • Have been working as an apprentice for one year or more.

Minimum Wage in UK for Part-time Jobs

The minimum wage UK for part-time jobs is applicable similarly to full-time jobs. Here is what you should know about the minimum wage in UK for part-time jobs:

  • As far as you can be classified as a worker, are working for at least 20 hours a week, and are of school-leaving age, you are eligible for minimum wage UK rates as decided by the UK government.

  • Casual workers, such as those who can refuse to work as offered for a reward, use tags as freelancers, as required, or zero hours, are also included in the definition of workers. They are, therefore, entitled to the National minimum wage UK.

Top Part-time Jobs in UK for International Students

  • The top part-time jobs in UK for international students are wide-ranged. Students can apply for these jobs while they are enrolled as a student in any UK university or educational institution. They can work for up to 20 hours per week on a UK Study Permit in UK.

  • International students are entitled to the National minimum wage UK rate if they fulfil the eligibility criteria for the wage rates. They can use their income from part-time jobs to manage living expenses in the UK.

  • The top part-time jobs in the UK for international students include waitressing, driving, bartending, shop assistant, cashier, freelancing, delivery worker, tutoring, babysitting, and contract jobs.

Top Job Opportunities in UK for Indian Students Post Study

Indian students can extend their stay in the UK to explore job opportunities and work on basis of their acquired qualifications.

  • Students can choose to stay back in the UK after completing their courses. They can apply for a Post Study Work visa. The visa can be applied for with or without a job offer.

  • PSW visa will help students to extend their stay in the UK for up to 2-2.5 years, based on their qualifications and course.

  • The Post Study Work visa will make them eligible to get employed as full-time workers and work for over 20 hours per week.

  • There are many job opportunities in UK for Indian students post-study. They can apply to job profiles relevant to their courses and get high paying jobs in UK. Students can apply to some of the highest paying jobs in UK, if their courses allow them to.

Related Reads:

Job Opportunities in UK for International Students

Part-Time Jobs in the UK for International Students

Highest-Paying Part-Time Jobs for Students in the UK

Student Life in UK for Indian Students

National Insurance for International Students

All employees over the age of 16 in the United Kingdom may be required to pay National Insurance (NI), which is withheld from wage payments by the employer. This is accomplished through the use of a National Insurance number, which is your personal reference number used by HM Revenue and Customs to calculate the contributions you must pay while you work. The format of an NI number is AB123456C.

If you do not already have an NI number, you must obtain one (though you can start work without an NI number but need to start the application process as soon as you are offered the job).

A National Insurance (NI) number may be put on the back of your biometric residency permit (BRP). If you already have a National Insurance number or it is printed on your BRP, you do not need to apply for one.

Part-Time Job Rules for International Students in the UK

While a UK student visa allows international students to work part-time in the UK, there are some limits and requirements that must be obeyed. They are as follows:

  • For a full-time degree programme, you cannot work more than 20 hours per week, i.e. no more than 4 hours per day with weekends off.

  • You are not permitted to work more than 10 hours per week during a language course term.

  • After the programme, you can find work for 40 hours per week, 8 hours per day, with weekends off.

  • You may not work as a freelancer or on a contract basis.

  • You cannot work full-time for any company unless you have a post-study work visa.

How to Find Part-Time Jobs in the UK?

A part-time job in the UK is very easy to come by if you are willing to do almost anything. You can work up to 20 hours per week in places including clubs, restaurants, shops, and university unions. You will be paid a minimum wage or salary for international students of roughly GBP 5 per hour, but most employers will pay you more. Obtain your national insurance number and a driver's licence as soon as you arrive. Even if you do not work all 80 hours every month, you might easily earn GBP 200-500 per month. Another wonderful option is private instruction (online or at home).

As an international student in the UK, these rights and arrangements are your protective armour to ensure equal wages and working conditions. You must be aware of these to avoid getting exploited as a worker. We also advise ensuring the creation of strong contact with the Indian mission in the UK, as they are your best option when you have to defend yourself against any injustice or unfairness in the country. Moreover, get in touch with local communities and organisations that support, educate, and advocate the rights of international students, in a legal and respectful manner.

In case you have any questions about minimum wage UK or how much students can earn in the UK per month, then contact our study abroad experts at abroad@collegedekho.com. for further assistance.

Which is the Right UK University for You?

FAQs

What is the UK minimum wage per hour rate for a full-time worker?

The UK minimum wage per hour rate for a full-time worker is GBP 9.50, effective April 1, 2022. This wage rate is applicable for workers who are 23 years of age or above. They have a right to receive a minimum salary of GBP 9.50 per hour for the number of hours they have worked for the employer. This is only a minimum wage rate, there is no limit placed by the government on the maximum salary that can be earned.

What are the rights one is entitled to as an employed worker in the UK?

The rights one is entitled to as an employed worker in the UK ensure equitable and fair wages and employment. Even an international student working part-time has employment rights, such as the National minimum wage, protection against unlawful deductions, protection against unlawful discrimination, and protection for whistleblowers reporting wrong practices at the workplace.

What is the minimum number of hours one has to work to be eligible for National minimum wage UK?

The minimum number of hours one has to work to be eligible for the National minimum wage UK is 20 hours per week. Every worker has to work for at least 20 hours per week to have a right to receive either the National minimum wage UK or National Living Wage. This rule makes international students eligible for the National minimum wage UK, as the UK student visa allows them to work for a maximum of 20 hours per week.

How many hours maximum can an employer make you work in the UK for a minimum wage?

There is no limit on the maximum number of hours which an employer can make you work in the UK for a minimum wage. However, any worker must have worked for at least 20 hours per week to become eligible for National minimum wage UK. As per another law, the maximum number of hours a worker can work in the UK is 48 hours per week.

What is the maximum amount of wages that an international student can earn in the UK?

There is no limit on the maximum amount of wages that an international student can earn in the UK. Since salary or remuneration are fixed on the basis of an employee's skills and value addition, there cannot be a maximum wage rate or salary amount that can be earned. The National minimum wage UK rate is to ensure that workers are not exploited for their services and they can earn a fair wage to survive and cope with the economy.

Is the minimum wage UK helpful for international students?

Yes, the minimum wage UK is quite helpful for international students. The government policy does not identify workers on the basis of their citizenship or origin. It ensures that any person who is of school leaving age and has worked for at least 20 hours per week then they can earn a minimum hourly wage irrespective of their country of origin. However, the work and international students must be legally eligible.

Can international students claim any rights or redressals as a worker in the UK?

Yes, international students can claim all rights and redressals which are entitled to eligible workers in the UK. The acclaimed rights include minimum wage UK, sick leaves, and paid leaves. However, there are certain claims which cannot be claimed such as minimum notice periods on dismissal by the employer, flexible working hours, and emergency time off.

Are international students engaged in freelance work eligible for minimum wage in UK?

Yes,  international students engaged in freelance work are eligible for minimum wage in UK. The National minimum wage UK policy also recognises casual workers as workers for policy and freelancers are recognised as casual workers Hence, if the student is working up to 20 hours a week and is of school-leaving age or above, they are eligible for minimum wage UK. 

Do international students have to pay taxes on their part-time incomes in the UK?

No, international students do not have to pay taxes on their part-time incomes in the UK, provided they use the income for either their education or basic necessities. If the student appropriates their income for entertainment, luxury, and lifestyle maintenance, then the UK income tax slab rates shall become applicable to their income. Their taxable income will be exclusive of income used for education or basic necessities.

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